Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

362                                                PAEGA5A. EOSI.
which Is looked after by a Pandit of the Radha Ballabh sect, called Bal-mukund.
When 1 went to see him, lie woalci only talk in Sanskrit and derived the name
of the place from J/d Lftaishih, ' fear not/ the exclamation of Krishna to the
herdsmen when the forest was set on fire. But there was an old fort of the
same name in thb Bolandshahr district near the town, of Khurja, where no
such legendary explanation would be applicable. The word is a peculiar one?
and I am unable to offer any suggestion regarding it.
The Saraagis? or Jainis, have three temples at Koslj dedicated respectively
w Padma-Prabtraj the sixth of the JInas or IlrtMnkuras ; Nem-nath, or
Anslitanemi, the twenty-second ; and 3IaMvira3 or Varddhaimna the twenty-
fourth and last of the series,* who is supposed to have died about the year
500 B. 0. A festival is held at the temple of Xem-iwth, Ľuhich is the smallest
and most modem of the three, on the day after the full moonaof Bhadon, when
water is brought for the ablution of the idol from a well In a garden at some
little distance. Any processional display, or beating of drums, or uttering of a
party cry Is so certain to result In a riot that extra police are always told off to
prevent anything of the kind, and to confine every religious demonstration
strictly within the vails of the temple. The antipathy to the rival faith on the
part of the Yaishnava Hindus is so strong that it Is ordinarily expressed by
saving that It would be better, on meeting a mad elephant In a narrow street,
to stand still and be trampled to death than to escape by crossing the threshold
of a Jaini temple.
As regards the essential matters of conservancy, water supply and road
communication, the condition of the town Is satisfactory and has been much
improved by municipal action. Host of the streets are either metalled or paved,
and lighted by lamps at night. A neat dispensary has been opened and Is well
attended, though as yet it has no accommodation for Indoor patients. A small
bungalow has been built for the meetings of the committee and for occasional
use us a rest-house ; the ground between It and the dispensary being laid
oat as a garden for the supply of fruit and vegetables and as a decorative
feature at the entrance of the town. A new market was also designed with
lines uf substantial brick-built and stone-fronted shops of uniform character
arranged on three sides of a square, which was secured end levelled for the pur-
pose. In order to further the speedy completion of a work which it was thought
would so much Improve both'the appearance of the town and also the finances
* Each Tirfhank,ira hm Ms own distinctive sign: Mahavira, a lion ; Padma-Prabhu, a
lotus 5 5em-aitli a conch; Chandra-Prabim, a moon, &c.; and It is only by these marks that they
eta be distinguished ten one another! aa all are sculptured in the same attitude.